MATCH SECRETARY'S REPORT, SEASON 2016-17
Slightly down on last season with 158 registered players and 33 teams, we were again able to run 4 Divisions, with virtually every team playing in the Division requested. Due to many concerns expressed the previous year about the lack of league matches, it was agreed, by the elected committee, to play each other 3 times, in the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Divisions, whilst the larger 4th Division would remain playing each other twice.
It proved to be an excellent, competitive season in all Divisions with none of the title winners / relegated clubs known until the last full week of the season.
Again some teams were too stretched, which resulted in 36 matches being postponed due to player difficulties, with a further 10 postponed due to venue unavailability (46 postponed out of 324). This however, is a massive improvement on last season (66 postponed out of 290). All 324 league matches were played. Only 3 teams, all from one club, played matches without a full team but that happened on 11 occasions. This practice spoils the evening for everyone and I would urge clubs to ensure willing reserves are on standby to help out. We also had a player still not pay his Table Tennis England membership by the end of the year, which resulted in many sets being forfeited. Clubs need to take on responsibility for their players - all players should be Table Tennis England members at the start of the season, we have given 3 months grace, but now this process has been running for 3 seasons I feel this should stop and anyone not Table Tennis England members at the start of our season should not be permitted to play – a rule change is proposed.
But as I said, despite these minor issues, it was an excellent season of competitive table tennis.
Division 1 - Winners Torbay Academy '1' 167 points, Runners-Up NA Batmen 152 points. Averages - 1st Kris Piwowar 98%, 2nd Patrik Cincala 85%, 3rd Dennis Gibbs 85%.
Division 2 - Winners Torbay Academy '3' 155 points, Runners-Up NA Eagles 149 points. Averages - 1st Herbie Sage 96%, 2nd Dan Webster-Hall 89%, 3rd Michael Hernandez 82%
Division 3 - Winners N A Hawks 167 points, Runners-Up Torbay Academy '4' 166 points. Averages - 1st Jakub Piwowar 98%, 2nd Doug Morgan 88%, 3rd Ben Hoare 83%
Division 4 - Winners Torbay Academy '5' 123 points, Runners-Up Torre Tigers 123 points. Averages - 1st Stephen Tucker 92%, 2nd Craig Collins 90%, 3rd Dale Fabian 87%
The Cup Competitions were also very competitive with teams from all 4 divisions competing in the semi finals. Unfortunately we had a couple of matches conceded in the singles Challenge Cup. Virtually all matches were played on time with very few issues. We will clarify the use of reserves in cup competitions for next season and maybe allow some extra time to set up the finals.
Challenge Cup Winners - Torbay Academy 1 or Marldon – To be decided after the AGM
Dyment Doubles Winners – Torbay Academy 1, Runners Up - NA Eagles
Results are nearly all communicated electronically now which enables the website to be updated promptly. The website continues to be very popular, currently 13th most visited website out of the 315 table tennis365 sites, with over 77,500 page visits in the last 6 months. No fines this year for late scorecards, just the two cup matches previously mentioned.
My thanks go to all the club secretaries and team captains who put in a great deal of effort to ensure games get played without any hitches. Also my thanks to Conrad Sutcliffe at the Herald Express and Richard Bray at the Mid Devon Advertiser, Teignmouth Gazette & Dawlish Post for the excellent coverage they have given to table tennis in the local papers throughout the season.
My grateful thanks, and disappointment that he is standing down, go to our Chairman / Secretary, Geoff Read. His level- headedness and tact as well as his hard work, guidance and support, will be sorely missed. I know I couldn't have dealt with many of the lengthy critical emails he receives each season with such diplomacy. Whilst sometimes differing in our views we have worked well as a team for the last few years and I and the committee will undoubtedly miss him. My records only go back to when I started playing in this league in 1991, Geoff was on the committee then as a Divisional Results Secretary; he became Chairman in 1998, and added the Secretary’s role during the 2006-7 season. Geoff will be a hard act to follow!
Tony Halse, Match Result Secretary.